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Leighton Thompson

March 17, 2017


Problem Statement:
Fred, a keen student of biology and a budding baker, decided to bake a loaf of bread using an
artificial sweetener instead of granulated sugar (sucrose) in his recipe as his mother has diabetes.
The outcome however was not a success even though that was the only change he made. Fred
had recently done an experiment at school looking at the effect of temperature on the rate of
yeast respiration using the common bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and noticed that the
yeast suspension used was mixed with glucose (as the respiratory substrate). Fred wondered
whether or not this particular species of yeast was able to respire to the same extent, different
sweetening agents, knowing that supermarket shelves contain a range of sugars such as
granulated, brown, and icing sugar, among others. He thought investigating this would help
guide him in his future baking exploits. Plan and design an experiment that will help him to find

Hypothesis: The yeast will respire at the highest rate when mixed with granulated sugar.

Aim: To investigate the effect that different sweet agents have on the rate of respiration of yeast.

Apparatus/Materials: 5 g of brown sugar, 5 g icing sugar, 5 g granulated sugar, 10 g yeast,

artificial sweetener, water bath, test tubes, stoppers, thermometer, stirring rod, delivery tube,
stopwatch, gas syringes, beaker
Method: 1. Prepare a water bath of 350 C.
2. Label 4 test tubes A, B, C, and D with the following respective substances:
brown sugar, icing sugar, granulated sugar and artificial sweetener.
3. Place 2.5 ml of the artificial sweetener, 2.5g of brown sugar, icing sugar and
granulated sugar in their respective test tubes.
4. Place 5g of yeast into each of the test tubes then stir the solution together.
5. Tightly cover the test tubes with the stoppers then leave test tubes for 3 mins to
acclimatize then place them in the water bath for 5 minutes to incubate.
6. Connect the delivery tube to the stopper and at the end of the delivery tube
connect the beaker with water.
7. Count the number of gas bubbles in the beaker for 2 minute intervals for 10
8. Tabulate the data.


Controlled: Temperature of solution, Amount of yeast, amount of water

Manipulated: The type of sweetening agent used.
Responding: The number of air bubbles produced.

Precautions: Ensure that the solution is continuously stirred before you place them in the water bath so
the yeast does not settle. Ensure the stopper is tightly corked to the test tubes so no air can escape.
Expected Results:

Type of Number of gas bubbles (cm3)

1st time 2nd time 3rd time 4th time 5th time
interval interval interval interval interval

Icing Sugar

Brown Sugar

Treatment of Results:

Respiration is a process in cells that involves the production of energy by breaking down a
respiratory substrate. Respiration can occur with the involvement of oxygen (aerobic respiration) or
absence of oxygen (anaerobic respiration). Cellular respiration produces ATP when energy is released
from glucose or other organic molecules. Aerobic respiration occurs in four stages involving glycolysis,
link reaction, Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.
Data Analysis: If the rate of respiration for the sugars is highest in granular sugar then the hypothesis was
indeed correct. However if another sweeting agent has a higher rate of respiration then the hypothesis was

The concentration of the sugars are unknown and this could affect the rate of respiration. The size of

bubbles vary hence volume of gas produced bubbles is not accurate.